HARLEM — Revamped basketball courts, a new baseball field, playground upgrades and funding for youth programs are planned for the residents of the Grant and Manhattanville Houses in West Harlem.
The West Harlem Development Corporation, which is responsible for distributing $150 million from Columbia University as part of a 2009 Community Benefits Agreement, has approved more than $400,000 for tenant associations from both complexes to bankroll the improvements.
Kofi Boateng, the group’s executive director, told DNAinfo New York that the group is planning a large celebration Friday evening at the Manhattanville Community Center, at 530 W 133rd St.
“It is a cause for celebration,” he said. “They are getting funds to do things that the residents need.
"This is a big amount and it shows that the two houses are working together… and they are working on programs for both houses.”
Part of the benefits agreement requires that the group allot $3 million specifically for those complexes. Tenant leaders work to submit a proposal for improvements with NYCHA prior approval, he said, and his group finances the projects.
“Thanks to this funding, residents can look forward to upgraded playgrounds, basketball courts, and a new baseball field, as well as sports and arts programs for youth at Grant and Manhattanville Houses – all of which help create a more connected community.”
“We are pleased to partner with the Manhattanville/Grant Benefit Committee and West Harlem Development Corporation to provide safer, cleaner and more enjoyable recreational spaces for our children and families,” NYCHA General Manager Michael Kelly said.
There is no date set for the construction and renovations.